2017’s Running With a Mission marked the sixth year of official partnership between The City Mission and the Sherwin-Williams Women’s Club (SWWC). The Mission took some time to talk with the head and co-chair of the Run Planning Committee, Chrissy and Tara, to learn more about why the Sherwin-Williams Women’s Club works so hard to put on this race year after year to support the women and children of Laura’s Home.
What is the Sherwin-Williams Women’s Club?
Chrissy and Tara: The Sherwin-Williams Women’s Club just celebrated its 106th anniversary. We started in 1911 as a sewing Club, with just 20 women, originally named the Brighten Up Girls (BUG) Club. Today, we have over 660 members. The purpose of the Club is to engage female employees in professional and personal development, philanthropy and friendship. Aside from Running With A Mission, the Club fundraises and donates over $30,000 back into the community annually.
How did the Sherwin-Williams Women’s Club become involved with Laura’s Home and Running With a Mission?
Chrissy and Tara: The birth of Running With a Mission was a joint venture! Ramona, of The City Mission, prayed for it, and Beth Archacki, of the SWWC, had a vision for the Club to do a 5k. Everything fell into place and the Sherwin-Williams Women’s Club reached out in 2011 to Laura’s Home about being partners on a race that was ultimately named Running With a Mission. This partnership has such a great balance; both parties contribute so much into making the event a success.
In your own words, what does the relationship between the Club and The City Mission mean to you?
Chrissy: Any philanthropic endeavor produces a “good feeling,” but to me, it really hits home that we are impacting the lives of women and children that live right down the road from us. After touring Laura’s Home, learning about the three step recovery process, and seeing the women and children engaging in the program was truly eye-opening. The Sherwin-Williams Women’s Club has hundreds of women that are passionate about making a difference and The City Mission is the perfect link.
Tara: I love that the relationship between the Sherwin-Williams Women’s Club and The City Mission has allowed two organizations with very similar values and goals to create a unified force to help women and children in our hometown. Clevelanders are such extraordinary people with great passion and even bigger hearts for helping those in our community. Our partnership provides an outlet through Running With A Mission to gather people together by being participants or volunteers to help and support Laura’s Home
What is your favorite part of Running with a Mission?
Chrissy: Race day, of course! Planning a large event is always time consuming, and at times, challenging – especially when trying to balance work life and our personal lives too. Come race day, any difficulty we faced is completely out of mind – race day makes it all worth it! Actually, throughout the event, I kept thinking, “how we can do more next year,” “how can we make the event even bigger and better!” I had a BLAST getting on stage telling the crowd about Laura’s Home, cheering on the runners, watching kids play games, handing out cold towels at the finish line, presenting the donation from the Sherwin-Williams Foundation to The City Mission and announcing the awards!
Tara: My favorite part of Running With A Mission is seeing families come out to the event in support of other families. I recently heard about two families who were former clients of Laura’s Home and they are now in a better place in life. They registered and came to the race as participants to help give back to Laura’s Home. Hearing that story made our purpose even more meaningful. It is just amazing to see families enjoying themselves at the zoo while supporting a cause that can have such an impact on another person’s life for the better.
The Running With A Mission 5k & 1 Mile Walk would not be possible without Chrissy, Tara or Sherwin-Williams Women’s Club! Thank you to all the participants and volunteers; your support means everything to The City Mission and Laura’s Home.
To see race day pictures, make sure to check out our Facebook page! If you would like to participate or volunteer in Running With A Mission next year be sure to go to our Run page to find out more information.